30 October 2011

Virtual GeneaScrappers - Scrapbook Sunday - Join Us!

Snow Falling on Our Halloween Decorations
Good morning all. We survived the first big snowstorm of the season. The neighbors lost power and we lost a few branches, but that seems to be the extent of our damage here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Green Leaves on October 30th, 2011

Since childhood I have jumped out of bed early on days when the world is blanketed in white. Snow mornings always feel full of promise and possibility. Today I was excited to get started on Jessica Sprague's Family History Album class and I hope you are too.

Week 1

1. Purchase Family History Album Class 1. Use code FHA385 at checkout to receive a twenty percent discount. Create and save your password.
Time: 30 minutes

2. Sign in to JessicaSprague.com. On the upper right click on My Classes tab. Download and/or print all class materials. Extract files as needed. I made a file titled Family History Album on my desktop and used CutePDF to save each day's instructions. See snip at right to check that you have all of the files. 
Time: 2 hours

3. Read through all materials. Decide if you would like to request a JS Mentor
Time: 30 minutes

4. Check your software. You will need Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements for this class. It is not necessary to have the newest version, but you can download a free trial of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10
Time: varies by software experience

5. Gather, Organize & Create Title Page
This week we will complete days 1 to 3 of the Family History Album Class. 
Time: varies by how much you want to do

6. Blog Post for Sunday, November 6
Post your title page using the heading [Your Title] - Scrapbook Sunday. Your post can simply include your title page image or any of the following ideas (or your own);
  • which family you will be scrapbooking
  • why you are scrapbooking this family
  • challenges you faced to get this project started
  • solutions to your challenges
  • anecdote about your family
  • digital scrapbooking

Be sure to include a link back to my blog, either to the Family History Scrapbooking page or to this week's instructions. I will have links to your blogs and posts and I will request a Scrapbook Sunday link in the daily Genealogy Blogging Beat. Post any questions below or on the Family History Scrapbooking page.

Happy Sunday and stay warm!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

It's never too late to participate in this project. Click on the Family History Scrapbooking tab to read all of the posts. If you would like to join us, post a comment or email me at jshoer [at] jenalygen [dot] com or Tweet me @scrappygen

26 October 2011

Join Us for Scrapbook Sunday

I Scrap Dead People, the title of the most recent podcast in Paperclipping Roundtable series is what caught my attention. The episode featured Ana Cabrera of FamilySearch.org and Jessica Sprague of JessicaSprague.com. They focused on finding ways to combine genealogy and family history research with scrapbooking to make our findings accessible for our family members and for our descendants. FamilySearch will be launching new family history and scrapbooking campaigns in the coming weeks and Jessica Sprague has a neat digital scrapbooking kit, Family History Album Class 1, to assist us with putting all of our hard work into an attractive format that will be cherished (we can only hope) for years to come. 

Well, my friends, I have been wanting to take this class for quite a while. I have taken a class from Jessica before and it was top notch with clear instructions. Then I started wondering if other people have been thinking about doing something like this too. So, I started asking around on Twitter and lo and behold I got some takers. Now I am wondering if you might like to participate as well.

First go take a look at the Family History Album Class 1 and then I will tell you my plan. 

Here is the plan; we sign up for the class, do a piece each week and post our results on Sundays, under the theme Scrapbook Sunday. If we have enough geneabloggers we can ask Thomas to list our theme under his Daily Blogging Prompts in the daily Genealogy Blogging Beat

What do you think? Interested? I saved the best part for last. Jessica Sprague got wind that a group of us were thinking about doing this and she has offered us a twenty percent discount! Just use the coupon code: FHA385 at checkout. That brings the cost down to just $36. That's a great deal.

Leave a comment below if you would like to join this family history scrapbooking adventure or if you have any questions. Everyone is welcome. 

Happy Wednesday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

25 October 2011

Color Nook, Dell Streak, Kindle Fire, Oh My - Tech Tuesday

First Stop - Nook Color

Books are like food for me, necessary to my existence. I can't imagine a day when I am not surrounded by their lovely spines. But then I read Dick Eastman's Plus Edition article (If you are not a member, you must sign up for this valuable newsletter.) about the Nook Color and was hooked. My family obliged and gifted me with one for Mother's Day. I was hoping to use it not only as an e-reader, but also as a small tablet. I like that the Nook Color can be used to surf the web, check email and keep up with social media, but I quickly became frustrated with a few things.
  • limited number of apps (back in May there were just over a hundred)
  • lack of apps I really wanted; Hootsuite, Google Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, GedStarPro, Genealogy Gems and others (They did just add Dropbox on 10/20/2011)
  • platform did not support zinio.com, which offers easy to navigate digital versions of Your Family Tree, Who Do You Think You Are? and Irish Roots.
  • inadequate search interface with the Barnes & Noble Nook store
It turns out that while I enjoyed reading books on the Nook, I wanted more than it was capable of providing. I didn't really want an e-reader, I wanted a tablet. My daughter was more than happy to take the Nook Color off my hands. As a college student, she is able to purchase many of her textbooks digitally and the Nook would allow her to carry her books independently of her laptop.

Second Stop - Dell Streak
In July, Staples had a great deal and I bought the Dell Streak 7 for $199. This is a seven inch tablet, about the same size, but slightly heavier than the Nook Color. It is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. Because it is Android based, it can access the Android Market and a seemingly endless number of apps. Here are some of the ways I use the tablet.

1. Write blog posts.
2. Read e-books from both the Kindle and Nook stores.
3. Listening to Genealogy Gems podcasts.
4. Communicate via Skype
5. View documents from Dropbox via Adobe Reader
6. Access my passwords and user names through Roboform
7. Keep up with social media via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Hootsuite. 
8. Save items in Evernote. 
9. Read genealogy magazines via zinio.
10. Read blogs in Google Reader.

A tablet has definitely been a better fit for me. There are lots of inexpensive ones out there, including the Dell Streak 7 Wi-Fi Tablet at Amazon. Except for its battery life, I thought I would be satisfied with the Streak indefinitely as I am not one to go out right away and buy the newest thing. Well, I was satisfied until I heard about the new Kindle Fire.

Third Stop - Kindle Fire

Yup, I pre-ordered one. I had to. There's a line. It's first come, first served. And I want to get it first. The Kindle Fire will be released on November 15th. Will it outshine the Nook Color? I'll let you know. 

Happy Tech Tuesday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!


More reading about e-readers and tablets:

Android Wars by The Ginger Jewish Genealogist 


21 October 2011

That's a Wrap on How She Does It - We All Do the Best We Can

WARNING: The following is rated S for sappy. It may be too sappy for some readers.  
                     Appropriate caution is advised.

Words have failed me. I have started this post approximately eleventeen times. I feel like I put out an empty rain barrel and it was filled up with love. I feel like every morning this week I had coffee with an old and dear friend, who held my hand and and told me her story so that I could better understand my own. What is with me? Is the moon full? I have tears prickling in the corners of my eyes as I write and think about how to put into words the gifts that have been presented through my blog this week. 

Six amazing women selflessly shared their stories, their secrets, their successes and their failures. How can I thank them? I am overwhelmed by their generous and kind spirits. Lots of you have left equally generous and kind comments on their posts, engaging in conversations and creating an incredible feeling of community and support. Here are just a few:

Stefanie at Ooph..."My house is a disaster most of  the time, therefore I must be an amazing woman!"

Walking Your Tree..."No one can be everything to everyone but you've obviously chosen who you need to be there for first and done it with aplomb" 

Nancy at Gathering Stories..."You're doing a great job balancing the craziness" and "yea Amy for keeping it real"

Tracy at The Pieces of My Past..."It makes me feel better to know there are other moms out there trying to juggle it all" 

Kathleen at a3Genealogy..."a fun way to get a reality check"  

Kristie at The Heritage Files..."good tips even for someone who just hopes to work from home someday" 

Valerie at Family Cherished..."how you approach life with young children is so practical and flexible"

Kimberly at about.com.genealogy..."this one definitely hit home for me" 

Hummer at Branching Out Through the Years ..."a feeling of I am not alone" 

Amy at Reconnected Roots..."this week has been lined up with nothing but superstars" 

Yvonne at The Mashburn Collection..."When I grow up, I wanna be just like you"

and finally from Just Plain Bill (Where's your blog? We would love to read it!)..."Many more will benefit from your remarks than will ever show up in these comments!!"

Genealogy and blogging can be a lonely business, but not this week. Thank you Amy, Caroline, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Kerry, Marian and let's not forget our geneadad, Philip. Because you were willing to tell us how you do it we all felt less alone, less isolated and more part of something bigger. 

Blogging is a two way street. You, the readers, are just as important as the writers. Thank you for visiting, thank you for commenting and thank you for being part of the geneamommybloggers great sharing event.

Before I close this series (but never the conversation), let's reminisce a bit about...large pots of coffee, sacred school hours and after school power hours, the laundry alarm, GroceryiQ or get it delivered, the person who helps you in the bathroom when you poop, planners and apps, bon bons and secret boxes of cookies, pants on the ground and the monstrous regiment of women. 

Yes, we are a monstrous regiment of women. And don't you forget it. It doesn't matter if we always do it all or even how we do it. As long as we remind ourselves as Jennifer Holik-Urban said to me today "I'm not alone in the various feelings I have about doing it all. We all do the best we can!" 

Remember. Showers are optional.

Have a wonderful week!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

Philip Trauring - How He Does It - Secrets from a Geneadaddyblogger

Philip, today's author, with his son, father and grandfather (celebrating his 96th birthday)
How does he do it all?

With help from my wife obviously. I couldn't do anything without a lot of patience from my wife. Generally I write late at night, but when I'm working on a long article, or have an upcoming deadline, I generally shift more into family time and my wife is great in helping pick up the slack. Behind every great geneadaddyblogger is a great woman. We recently (less than a month ago) had our third child, and that has been challenging (3 is more than 2, imagine that) but slowly I'm getting back up to speed with my genealogy and blogging.

What does he do?

I'm not a professional genealogist. In fact I'm the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of a high-tech company in Israel. I've been doing my own genealogy research for about 15 years. Two years ago I published a book in honor of my grandfather's 94th birthday which detailed all the descendants of his grandfather. I spent a long time collecting photos from distant cousins, which meant that for everyone reading the book, they got to see family photos they had never seen before. It was just for family, but it was fairly popular among my close and distant cousins. It made me think perhaps I could do more with genealogy.

I started blogging almost a year ago with the idea that I wanted to get more involved in genealogy, but not knowing exactly what that meant. I chose to do a blog for several reasons:

First, I wanted to brush up on my writing. I hadn't written non-corporate-copy since college, and flexing my writing skills seemed like a good  idea. I was also toying with the idea of writing a book on Jewish genealogy (which is the focus of my blog), and a blog seemed like a great way to try out ideas and to write early drafts of different parts of my book. The blog would also help me determine if writing a book was something I really wanted to do (and indeed it seems it is not).

Second, blogging seemed like a way to improve my own genealogical skills. Putting instructions in writing is a great way to help one really understand the techniques they're using for their research. If you can explain it to someone else, you will understand it better yourself. I find myself also referring back to my own articles when I'm going to do research in an area I covered, and I want to brush up on what to do. It's sort of a public journal on genealogical techniques. Einstein famous said that “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself” and I while I don't think there are any six year old reading my blog, I think if I can explain things clearly to others, I'll understand them better myself.

Third, I wanted to help others with their genealogy. When people find out I am interested in genealogy, I frequently get questions on how to get started. Most people ask me the same questions, or variations on the same questions. I wanted to write down the techniques I use, so others can learn, and when people do ask me a question, I can direct them to the articles I've written. I also provide resources like my genealogy forms (bloodandfrogs.com/p/forms.html), Genealogy-Enhanced Search (bloodandfrogs.com/p/search.html) and my listing of naturalization records available online through the National Archives (bloodandfrogs.com/p/naturalization.html). Facebook has turned out to be an amazing place to help people get started with their genealogy, and while comments on my blog are usually reactions to my articles, posts on my blog's Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/jewishgenealogy) are usually questions on how to get started. I try to respond directly as best I can. I passed 2500 'Likes' on my Facebook page recently.

Lastly, I thought blogging would help get me out into the genealogy community where I could meet more people who were interested in genealogy. Genealogy can be a lonely pursuit sometimes – I don't know any families where everyone is interested in genealogy. There was no genealogical society in my city, and finding people online seemed a good way to branch out.

Since starting the blog I've branched out quite a bit. One of my blog articles has been re-published in a print journal, with a second article (in a different journal) in preparation now. I founded a branch of the Israel Genealogical Society in my hometown of Modi'in, Israel, and I spoke at the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy this past August in Washington, DC.

How does he remember to do it?

This is an area I could improve on, to be sure. For writing my blog, I have two general approaches. For timely posts, which are usually short posts based on something going on that day or that week, I usually just sit down and write it quickly whenever I come up with the idea. It's kind of the GTD approach of not writing down to-dos for things that are quick to do – just do them. For longer articles, which sometimes require extensive research, I will usually start the article, leave it as a draft in Blogger, and come back to it as I have the time. I've had some ideas sit as Drafts for months before finishing them. The worst is when these two approaches merge, and I come up with a great idea for a long article and decide to write it all that day. That's when whole days get lost.

Some projects, like my search engine and the genealogy forms, sucked significantly more than a day or two to get them completed. Of course, these bigger projects also tend to get the most usage from people, which is satisfying. Those pages consistently get the most visits on my blog. Consequently, if you've used my genealogy forms, post a comment on the forms page as I have no way of finding out who uses them and how well they work in practice (although I did solicit feedback on the first versions of my forms which I incorporated into revised versions).

For general time-tracking I use iCal on the Mac and sync it to my iPhone, but rarely do I use that for my blog (which is more it-will-get-done-when-its-done).

What's the Purpose?

Last year several people I got in touch with directed me to the same woman, who had researched the same family name in the same small town as I was researching. When I got in touch with her, she told me she had stopped doing genealogy because none of her children or grandchildren cared. It was a bit depressing to hear her talk about it, and I felt really bad. She had spent so much time (and money) on researching her family, and her family had no interest. As I am somewhat younger than many of the genealogists I meet (and certainly much younger than that woman) I think I have a very different perspective of why I do genealogy, which I think is important.

First, I do genealogy because I enjoy it. Sure, if no one cared about the work I do researching my family it might bother me one day, but the truth is I enjoyed doing the research at the time, and that in and of itself is worthwhile to me. Some people collect coins, some people play fantasy football, I do genealogy.

Second, I'm not hoarding everything I find with some future goal of handing it down to my children or grandchildren to continue. I share my work today as much as possible with my extended family and I already know many of them appreciate it. I know several of my 4th cousins (at least two live in the same town as me) and my children now actually play with some of their 5th cousins. Sharing with extended family is not purely altruistic, as I also hope to learn from them about their branches, and see what they know (and what photos they may have) of older generations.

Third, while sometimes people have no interest in finding out about their extended family, some are amazingly interested. Earlier this year I communicated with a distant cousin who had survived the Holocaust by being sent on a train to England as a child. His parents, who remained behind, were killed shortly thereafter (for those interested, there were about 10,000 children saved in this way in what were called 'kindertransport' which you can find out about online). I had found a record on his father in Belgium and was able to send him a photo of his father. Since he had left on the train in the late 1930s he had never seen an image of either of his parents until I sent him that photo. Our family branches probably hadn't spoken in nearly a hundred years, yet I was able to do something very special for him. Those are things we as genealogists can do, and should do, in the process of our own research.

Fourth, my grandfather's uncle collected a large number of family photos and documents which he passed down to his children (and a few to my grandfather). I'm absolutely certain he had no idea I would be contacting his children and grandchildren one day (he died when I was 2) to gather together his original collection and help copy and preserve the photos, but I'm certainly glad he took the time to save and hand down those photos and documents. Some of the photos he preserved existed in other family collections, but many were unique and if he hadn't taken the time, everyone in my extended family would have lost out – including his direct descendants who each did not have all of the photos and documents. What I do now will also one day make it to many relatives, and perhaps back to my direct line as well (if for some reason it doesn't get handed down directly).

Lastly, I have no idea if my children or grandchildren will one day be interested in the work I've done (my oldest child is 4 now), but I hope to instill not only an interest in family history to my children, but to do so in the context of stressing to them the importance of family in general. In anyone's family research, undoubtedly one runs into great stories and non-so-great stories. All of these stories, good and bad, can be used to teach one's children important life lessons. Using stories that originate from your own family makes the lessons that much more relevant to one's children. If someone in your family did something, even a hundred years ago, that you think should be emulated, that is something your children can connect to. On the same token, if there is an example of someone who did something you don't want emulated from your family history, the fact that a real person related to your child went through something you want to prevent your child from doing is also something they can connect to, and hopefully learn from.

Philip Trauring is the author of the blog Blood and Frogs: Jewish Genealogy and More (http://www.bloodandfrogs.com/), is a guest-blogger on the JewishGen Blog (http://jewishgen.blogspot.com/), answers Jewish genealogy questions on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jewishgenealogy), and can be followed on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/bloodandfrogs). He also uses Google+ (http://gplus.to/trauring) occasionally but hasn't actually figured out why yet.

How She Does It - Secrets from the Geneamommybloggers AND geneadaddybloggers posts daily 
at 7 AM Eastern beginning October 15, 2011. If you missed a day, click here
Now that we have officially added a father's voice to the conversation, perhaps the name of the series should change to simply, How They Do It, or....send me your ideas. I would love to come up with a more inclusive title, one that would include everyone struggling with this issue, not just parents. What do you think? Tweet your ideas to @scrappygen or send an email to jshoer [at] jenalygen [dot] com and I will tweet them for you.

20 October 2011

Elizabeth O'Neal - How She Does It - Secrets from a Geneamommyblogger

I became a mom late in life. My husband and I got married the week before my 40th birthday, and for 2 years we gave getting pregnant more than a good try. 20 years of stage IV endometriosis would not make that easy. Surgery, fertility drugs, ovulation predictor kits, internet “remedies”… we threw everything at pregnancy we could think of. I had even located an IVF clinic in St. Louis that specialized in “lost causes,” which we most certainly were.

Imagine my surprise when, upon arriving in Maui to take care of my cousin’s family while she spent time with her dying mother, I discovered that, no, I did not get food poisoning on the plane. Three pregnancy kits and a blood test later, I finally believed that the impossible had happened: I was pregnant.

My husband and I both knew that this would probably be our one and only shot at having a child, so the pressure was on. After age 35, a woman is considered a “high risk” pregnancy, and at that point, I was a few years removed from 35. The pregnancy was not easy, and the delivery almost killed me. Literally.

But I finally got to hold my beautiful baby girl in my arms, something I had dreamed of my whole life.

And then the real fun began.

*   *   *

Someone once told me that if you want something done, you should ask a busy person. I really think that statement should be amended to say that you should ask a busy woman. Busy women already know how to get things done, so adding one more thing should be easy, right? We can fry up the bacon, talk on the phone, type an article, sweep the floor, and make a child to stop pulling the dog’s tail… all at the same time. W-O-M-A-N.

Before I had my daughter, I was an elementary school teacher. It was hard work with long hours, and let’s just say I was not sorry to give it up to be a stay-at-home mom. But it was good that I had that experience because I developed The Teacher Voice, which frequently comes in handy, and the word “no” practically rolls off my tongue with no effort whatsoever.

Towards children, that is. In my own life, I am just learning how to say no.

I don’t know why we women find it so difficult to say no. Do we feel it makes us seem weak to admit that we just can’t do one more thing? Personally, I believe it makes us stronger, and is more honest to those who are asking us for help. As I’ve discovered over the past few years, there really is a point where you are overcommitted, and something always suffers. I don’t want that something to be my daughter.

But I must confess: I am terrible at following my own advice.

For example: I currently serve as the Senior State President of the California State Society Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.). It’s a big job, but I love working with a fantastic group of kids, including my own. The DAR keeps me busy as a national chairman, webmaster, and the state society’s social media coordinator, among other things.

Genealogy-wise, I was recently named the Social Media Coordinator for the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society, and I’m the main voice behind their new blog and Twitter account. Oh, and I’m also the coordinator of ProGen 9.

Hello, my name is Elizabeth, and I’m a volunteeraholic.

Don’t get me wrong: I love what I do, but I really wish there were a few more hours in the day. And a seriously large pot of coffee.

In addition to motherhood, my genealogy business, and a volunteerism addiction, I also homeschool my daughter. Actually, we made the decision this year to send her to a part-time charter school. She attends classes 2 days a week, and I homeschool the remaining 3 days (weekends are free, unless we miss one of the other days). So – less driving time to and from school – that leaves me with about 10 hours to myself each week. And let me tell you, those hours go by FAST.

I keep it all straight – or try to, at least – with a good, old-fashioned, Franklin Planner. That bulging book is so 20th century, but it’s the only thing that works for me. I’ve tried Palm Pilots, a Sony CLIÉ, and a half dozen or so smartphone calendars. But I never looked at them. And the missed appointments and deadlines were testimony to the fact that a planner not looked at, no matter how technologically cool, is useless.

For extra nagging support, I use the calendar on my computer, which I sync to my iPhone, and I have numerous reminders and alarms that pop up throughout the day. Seriously, if I didn’t get a reminder to eat lunch or pick up my daughter from ballet, I’m sure I would forget. And the laundry would be in the washer for a week if I didn’t have an alarm telling me to put it in the dryer.

When I’m on my game, I plan out all – and I mean ALL – of our meals for the week, and shop about 2-3 times a month. When I’m off my game, we eat frozen pizza or whatever isn’t moldy in the refrigerator. I really don’t like to cook, but someone has to feed us. My shopping list is kept in an iPhone app called GroceryIQ, and since my phone is almost always with me, I can’t use “I forgot my list” as an excuse to blow off the shopping.

I also don’t like housework. When I pick up my daughter’s toys for the gazillionth time, or clean up after my elderly dog with bowel problems, I often find myself muttering that this is NOT what I went to college for. But again, somebody has to do it. Since I’m the one at home all day, the grunt work falls to me. Plus, my daughter and I both have very bad allergies, so we have to keep the dust and mildew to a minimum (easier said than done, living on the coast). I try to clean at least one part of the house each day, but I’d be lying if I said I was always successful at that.

When it comes to taking care of myself, like most moms, I typically wind up at the bottom of the list. To be honest, I hate to exercise, and my two favorite food groups are caffeine and sugar. I joined a family-friendly gym with a great, supervised, child play area earlier this year so I would have no more excuses not to exercise. But it’s amazing how many excuses I can still come up with. I really do want to live long enough to see my daughter get married and have kids of her own, and I was warned that if I didn’t whip my core into shape I could count on many, painful years of degenerative disc disease (DDD). So with that in mind, I try to drag myself to the gym 2 or 3 times a week. Eating right is another problem entirely… hence the planning of all meals so I won’t choose a cookie for lunch instead of a salad.

I do like to sleep, but I don’t get much of it anymore. By the time my daughter goes to bed at 8:00 p.m., I’m usually fried. My insomnia and my husband’s buzzsaw-like snoring often keep me awake for hours. On a good night, I get 5-6 hours of sleep. On a bad night, maybe 2. On a really bad night, I sleep in the guest room with ear plugs.

I started blogging four years ago as a way to save my sanity. My original plan was to be a "mommy-blogger,” since everyone who was anyone was a mommy-blogger back in the day. I soon found myself bored with writing about cleaning my house or my daughter’s swimming lessons, and the series I did about having a virus was not my best work (I blame the cold meds). So I began interspersing updates about Starbuck’s newest flavors with stories of genealogy.  And that’s how I became a geneamommyblogger. After all, genealogy isn’t just about our ancestors; it’s also about the memories we leave for our descendants.

*   *   *

Being a late-in-life mom gives me a different perspective. I’ve already had a career (several, in fact), so I don’t mind giving up time to spend with my daughter. I’m keenly aware of the fact that a good portion of my life has already been lived, so I need to spend what’s left of it doing things that make me – and my family – happy.

And when my daughter interrupts me while I’m writing to give me a hug and tell me she loves me (like she just did), or to ask me to play ponies, I remind myself that one day she’ll be a surly teenager, and her only acknowledgement of my existence will be a heavy sigh and rolling eyes.

I savor each moment while I can.

I want my daughter to remember her mother as someone who worked hard, enjoyed what she did, but was never too busy to make time for her… and that she was loved and wanted more than anything in the world.

When things get to be too much, I ask myself, “What’s the worst that will happen if I don’t get this done today?” If no one will die, and no blood is involved, I might just put it off for another day.

After all, we really do need to stop for hugs and ponies once in a while.

Those are the real memories that will last for a lifetime.

*   *   *

Elizabeth O’Neal is a professional genealogist specializing in the preparation of lineage society applications, as well as the use of technology and social media. She enjoys writing and lecturing about genealogy, and is the author of the award‐winning genealogy blog “Little Bytes of Life.”

Her daughter has not yet caught the genealogy bug, but spends time with mom and dad visiting local cemeteries. She still thinks they are just big parks with lots of stepping stones.

Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth [at] littlebytesoflife [dot] com, or on Twitter as @littlebyteslife.

beginning October 15, 2011. If you missed a day, click here.

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